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«November 2015»

DirectQuery in Power BI Desktop

In the latest Power BI Desktop a new Preview features was released that now allows you to connect using DirectQuery to either SQL Server or Azure SQL Databases.  DirectQuery is a really neat feature that allows you to point to the live version of the data source rather than importing the data into a data model in Power BI Desktop. 

Normally when you want to get an updated dataset in the Power BI Desktop you would have to manually click the refresh button (this can be automated in the Power BI Service), which would initiate a full reimport of your data.  This refresh could take a variable amount of time depending on how much data your have.  For instance, if you’re refreshing a very large table you may be waiting quite a while to see the newly added data. 

With DirectQuery data imports are not required because you’re always looking at a live version of the data.  Let me show you how it works!

Turning on the DirectQuery Preview

Now, because DirectQuery is still in Preview you must first activate the feature by navigating to File->Options and settings->Options->Preview Features then check DirectQuery for SQL Server and Azure SQL Database


Once you click OK you may be prompted to restart the Power BI Desktop to utilize the feature.

Using DirectQuery in Power BI Desktop

Next make a connection either to an On-Premises SQL Server or Azure SQL database.

Go to the Home ribbon and select Get Data then SQL Server.


Provide your Server and Database names then click OK. ***Do not use a SQL statement.  It is not currently supported with DirectQuery***


From the Navigator pane choose the table(s) you would like to use.  I’m just going to pick the DimProduct table for this example and then click Load.  You could select Edit and that would launch the Query Editor where you could manipulate the extract.  This would allow you to add any business rules needed to the data before visualizing it.


Next you will be prompted to select what you want to connect to the data. Again, Import means the data

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The Big Data Blog Series

Over the last few years I’ve been speaking a lot on the subject of Big Data. I started by giving an intermediate session called “Show Me Whatcha’ Workin’ With”. This session was designed for people who had attended a one hour introductory session that showed you how to load data, to look at possible applications … Continue reading The Big Data Blog Series
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SSIS - Send Errors to Message Box

  • 7 November 2009
  • Author: DevinKnight
  • Number of views: 39191

While in the process of developing SSIS packages it’s likely you will deal with errors occasionally unless you’re the Superstar developer that never makes mistakes.  Of course your first steps to deciphering the problem is to look at either the progress/execution results tab in BIDS.  The problem with viewing error messages here is that more than likely the error you receive does not fit on the single line and goes off the screen.  So what do you do?  Right-click select Copy Message Text and paste it in something like the notepad is what most people do.  This is an quick way to view a full error message, but I’m going to share with you another option that can be used during development to view your full error message.

This method involves using a little bit of scripting and taking advantage of Event Handlers.


1.  Create an event handler on the package level that will kick off a Script Task when an OnError event occurs.

2.  Drag a Script Task from the Toolbox onto the Event Handler design surface then double-click to open it’s editor.


3.  Select the System::ErrorDescription Variable From the ReadOnlyVariables list.  (This variable is only available in the Event Handler tab)  Then click Edit Script.


4.  Once the Editor opens scroll down to where it says Add your code here and replace that line with the following code:


This code is looking waiting for this system variable ErrorDescription to be populated and when it is a message box will appear with it’s content.


Now when your package is run if it encounters an error that causes the package to fail you will receive a message box with the same error you would find in the progress/execution results tab.  If you have multiple errors you will receive multiple message boxes.  This message can easily be copied from the message box by using the CTRL+C if you will wish to copy this to a notepad.

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